Glacier scored first and led undefeated Butte at the end of the first quarter, but the Bulldogs shifted into high gear after that and rolled to a 51-14 win at Naranche Stadium on Friday, Nov. 8, ending the Wolfpack’s season in the quarterfinals of the Class AA state playoffs.
Junior quarterback J.T. Allen connected with Jonah Pate for an 8-yard touchdown pass to put Glacier (5-6) in front 7-0 but the Wolfpack would never lead again. Butte (10-0) quarterback Tommy Mellott, a Montana State commit, ran for three touchdowns and passed for another as the Bulldogs jumped in front 20-7 at halftime. Allen threw another touchdown in the third quarter, this time to Ethan Diedi, before Butte closed the game with 31 unanswered points.
Glacier won its opening round playoff game 33-24 at Great Falls High, the program’s first postseason victory since 2016. The Wolfpack should return the bulk of their offensive production in 2020, albeit without their most explosive player in Drew Deck, who has committed to play at the University of Montana next season. Allen will return as a second-year starter under center and running back Jake Rendina piled up gaudy numbers in 2019 as a sophomore.
In Class A, Libby’s storybook season ended with a thud in Laurel where the Locomotives cruised to a 50-0 win on Nov. 9 to reach the state semifinals. Even with the loss, the 2019 season was a return to prominence for the Loggers, who notched a playoff win for the first time since 2007 with a 49-28 win over Butte Central on Nov. 2.
Libby (8-3) played its playoff games without senior quarterback Jeff Offenbecher, who was injured in the regular season finale. Offenbecher threw for 649 yards, ran for 728, and accounted for 14 touchdowns in nine games this year.
Junior Jay Beagle, who spent some time at quarterback during the regular season, was the full-time signal-caller in both playoff games and should return to lead the Libby offense next year. Running back Dawson Young, also a junior, ran for more than 1,000 yards and scored a team-leading 19 touchdowns this fall.